How to Train a Puppy to Come
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Sometimes we search for the easiest way to do things, but teaching a puppy to come requires us to search for the most effective way. Here is a helping guideline on how to train a Puppy to come.
How and when to start teaching
Before you start any form of obedience training, look for signs to let you know they’re ready.
When your puppy is ready they will already know their name and respond to it when said, be responsive when you are walking with them, and be on a regular food and bathroom schedule.
Knowing their name will let the puppy know you are speaking to them when you start to teach a command.
Being responsive when you’re walking means that when you are walking with them they are actively looking back to see you, making sure you’re still with them.
A regular food and bathroom schedule gets your puppy ready to learn more because they have already learned their schedule. It gets them on the right track to be able to learn.
The average age to start training is about 4-6 months, but every dog is different and learns at their own rate. Don’t focus on age as much as looking for the signs that they’re ready.
These things will give you a great head start in the learning / teaching path.
Once you start, keep going.
When you begin, keep in mind that patience is required, they don’t always get it on the first go.
Start by walking away from them when they aren’t paying attention, then once you are a few feet away start calling their name.
Keep your voice upbeat, it gives them the drive to want to do these things. Using a stern tone can inhibit progress. This is more about them having fun learning than being too strict and losing any headway you’ve made.
Make sure once they do come to you that you give them the immediate praise showing them they did exactly as you asked them to.
Using small treats and praise have been shown to be more effective than praise alone. You don’t need to hand out a treat every time they do it, that would be unhealthy, instead, use them once in a while to reinforce a job well done.
Keep Everyone In The Loop
In order to make good progress, everyone needs to be on the same page. Having only one person in the family teaching can put a damper on the advancements you have made.
Make it a family time occasion, get everyone together to make a plan on when you have time to work with the puppy.
Taking turns is a good way to spread out the responsibilities and gives everyone an equal opportunity to earn the same respect from the dog.
Share what you have accomplished with commands, making it easier to know how much the dog is retaining, and how well the learning is going.
Follow Through And Using Combinations
Once training begins, whether it is house training, command training, or even agility training, it is important to follow through.
It can be frustrating sometimes if the dog doesn’t learn right away, but patience is the most important thing you can give them at this crucial point in their lives.
Using combinations such as: sit, stay, come, are useful in establishing authority, and giving them a bigger goal to work towards.
The bigger the set of commands, the bigger the praise should be.
Combinations should not become any more than three commands in a row until they have refined their skills enough that it is natural to them. Doing too many at a time can confuse them.
Your follow through also means that as the puppy grows into an adult dog, you never stop giving them commands and praise. Your dog will be used to you giving them work to do, and if you stop giving them work, they will become less likely to listen. Maintenance is important to your relationship with your dog. Keep motivating each other to keep up with the results you worked so hard for.
Last but not least, make it a fun time for everyone. Don’t stress a small loss, celebrate the big wins!
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